Summit Up 4-1-10
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column celebrating the infinite wisdom of the golden retriever.
Some dogs lie around waiting to be petted, fed and watered. But unlike a potted plant, the golden retriever needs only to hear his/her owner’s voice to cut loose into a wildly exuberant state of loyalty and indulgence.
This may sometimes get the pretty-looking pup into trouble, as was exhibited one recent morning in our very own backyard.
Our pal came over to fix a large section of our fence that mysteriously collapsed after an especially windy spring night. As the guy worked on the fence, the retriever jumped around doing his best to lend a paw. Before long, the fence was mended and the dog was missing. A brief search revealed the dog was no longer in the vicinity.
We were pretty freaked out until we heard a light scratching at the front door.
Low and behold, this brilliant mammal had made a trip around a couple homes until finding passage to the road and making a safe return.
This would have been surprising, were the pooch some kind of bulldog or Yorkshire terrier.
But the unfazed golden channeled his psychic energy into a solution.
What a remarkable animal. We sometimes peruse the Main Street bars and find this dog waiting for us outside just like he was fenced into the property.
He never seems to wander into the streets, but knows how to use them as if some sort of global positioning system is affixed to his snout.
Black Labradors, on the other hand, seem to have the common sense not to get stuck in such a situation in the first place.
We think: “Heel.”
And the dog appears by our side with no hesitation.
Black Labs are great dogs for hiking in this regard. We’ve taken one on some pretty steep, gnarly Western Slope cliffs and he jogged right along side without ever veering to explore what kind of bird is feeding its young on the ledge below us.
Both specimen can be trained to hang out in a room without eating the delicious, fresh batch of ribs we’ve left on the coffee table.
However, the golden is more apt to knock over a tall glass with his tail, which is quite a pain.
Another breed of dog that’s surprisingly train-able is the coyote.
While the coyote’s undomesticated brethren pose a threat to many a toy poodle or Chihuahua, this one coyote we’ve had the pleasure of knowing is capable of sitting still even in the most stimulating of situations.
Matter of fact, we’ve observed him taking care to protect smaller and more vulnerable dogs when troublemakers came into the area. We don’t happen to be pet owners, but the above-
mentioned dogs have all made their digs in our pad at one time or another. They stick by their reputation pretty well until a stranger comes in the door. Then it’s a mix of howls, yips and barks – whether for protection or just attention, we can’t really say.
Regardless, we’ll just pretend it’s the protection. It helps us sleep better at night, especially with the dog trying to take up half our bed. It’s not that we don’t enjoy the company of a four-legged fur ball forcing our legs into random pretzel-like positions while trying to catch some crucial Zs, it’s just that, well, actually that is it.
That’s one of the few rules we need to make with our various dogs that frequent our humble abode: Dogs on the ground, people in the bed.
Anyway, that gives them better attack position in case an intruder does break into the house, right? We mean, it’s not like a dog can attack from the comfort of a bed. We know that it takes us a few hits of the “snooze” button to ever even think about getting out from under the sheets. The dog – well, it just has better reaction time coming from the floor.
After all, the dog is allowed to give us a break once in a while. We pick up after it every day, whether it’s from the toys it mangled and spread across the living room rug or its wonderful treasures it leaves on the ground during every walk to the park. We also feed it, bath it, brush it and give it treats and praise anytime it does something we “trained” it to do.
Really, when we think about it, a dog has it pretty good when living with a descent owner. We do all of that for them, and all they have to do is get excited when we walk in the door.
We told you those dogs are smart.
It’s Thursday, and we’re walking our dog in hopes of attracting some attention.
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